‘World’s first’ AI bin launched to tackle food waste by restaurants

Device uses machine learning to identify which types of food are being thrown away

Ben Chapman
Friday 22 March 2019 17:21
It has already been successfully trialled in 23 Ikea stores
It has already been successfully trialled in 23 Ikea stores

An AI-powered bin that aims to cut down on food waste has been launched. The bin made by UK technology startup Winnow Vision uses a camera and smart scales to keep track of what types of food are being thrown away too often, helping restaurants to save money, and the environment.

The new smart bin applies machine learning to the problem of waste by recognising different foods after some assistance from kitchen staff in the initial stages. It has already been successfully trialled in 23 Ikea stores as well as a number of hotel restaurants around the world.

About 75 of the devices have already been installed and the company plans to roll out hundreds more this year. Winnow estimates it has saved almost $30m of food and 39,000 tonnes of CO2 so far.

Marc Zornes, chief executive of Winnow, said: “Food waste is a global issue, and one that kitchens around the world are struggling with.

“Without visibility into what is being wasted, kitchens are wasting far more food than they think.

“By understanding and reporting food waste’s very real costs – both to the bottom line and the environment – Winnow Vision empowers chefs to take action.

“Using technology that learns and improves with each use, Winnow Vision has the ability to tackle food waste on a global scale.”

Lorena Lourido, country food manager at Ikea UK and Ireland, said: “At Ikea, we want to inspire and enable the many people to change their behaviour when it comes to food waste, starting in our own operations.

“Winnow Vision has now been installed across 23 Ikea UK and Ireland stores and the feedback from the Ikea food teams running our restaurant kitchens has been extremely positive so far.”

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